Hadleigh woman’s ‘unique’ tear duct operation to repair hole in her face

Linda Tregidon, 62, of Hadleigh, a few weeks after her operation at the Norwich & Norfolk Hospital w

Linda Tregidon, 62, of Hadleigh, a few weeks after her operation at the Norwich & Norfolk Hospital with her stitches removed. - Credit: Archant

A woman with a rare cancer has had a unique operation to repair a hole in her face.

Linda Tregidon, of Hadleigh, immediately after her operation.

Linda Tregidon, of Hadleigh, immediately after her operation. - Credit: Archant

Linda Tregidon, from Hadleigh, was diagnosed with cancer of the tear duct and underwent an operation to remove two tumours in early December at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, followed by 30 sessions of radiotherapy over six weeks at Ipswich Hospital.

However Mrs Tregidon, 62, suffered a recognised side-effect and the hole – about the size of a £2 coin – appeared at the side of her nose.

She feared she would lose her eye, having initially attended an opticians only suffering with watery eyes.

But her Norwich hospital plastic surgeon Bijan Beigi teamed up with Matthew Yung, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, to come up with the unique operation to repair the hole – believed the be the first of its kind to be successful.

In the operation two flaps of skin were taken from Mrs Tregidon’s face to cover the hole, and it is the first time both flaps have been used together.

Mr Beigi and Mr Yung have run courses together over the past 15 years for tear duct surgeons.

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Mrs Tregidon, who had her stitches out shortly before Christmas, said: “Mr Beigi and Mr Yung have been amazing.

“There have been very little downsides – it has been a very positive experience.”

The skin grafted on will be smoothed out at a later date.

Mrs Tregidon, who only needed nine days off work, has also been told there is no evidence of the disease returning, and so she and her husband Dave are planning a big holiday.

Mr Beigi The first flap, constructed by Mr Yung from the nasal lining, was attached to the holes in the bone on the side of Mrs Tregidon’s face.

Then the Norwich surgeon took the forehead flap that was attached to the base of the skull and joined it to the other one “like a sandwich”.

Mr Beigi said the nasal flap had rarely been used to cover a hole, and added he was very pleased with the result and could not find any other occasion the two flaps have worked like this.

Both he and Mr Yung now plan to write the procedure up for medical journals.

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